The Advocate Blog Network

Search
Banner image

Five memorable games: LSU vs. Kentucky

  • Oct. 17, 1981 – LSU 24, Kentucky 10: Wide receiver Eric Martin returns a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to spark the Tigers to victory in what would otherwise turn out to be a dismal 3-7-1 season under second-year coach Jerry Stovall. To date, it is the last kickoff return for a touchdown by an LSU player in Tiger Stadium.
  • Oct. 18, 1986 – LSU 25, Kentucky 16: Redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy Hodson gets hit so hard he bites through his tongue and suffers a mild concussion, but after five stitches comes back to direct a typically gritty LSU victory in Lexington. The win keeps the Tigers on track for their first Southeastern Conference championship since 1970.
  • Oct. 13, 2001 – LSU 29, Kentucky 25: Rohan Davey finds freshman receiver Michael Clayton on a third-and-goal touchdown pass from the 6 with 13 seconds left as the Tigers escape Lexington with another hard-fought win. The victory paves the way for LSU’s first appearance in the SEC Championship Game and another conference title.
  • Nov. 9, 2002 – LSU 33, Kentucky 30: The play was called Dash Right 93 Berlin. Today, everyone knows it as The Bluegrass Miracle. Taking its place in LSU lore alongside Billy Cannon’s punt return and Warren Morris’ home run, Marcus Randall lets it fly on a play that starts at the Tigers’ 25-yard line and finds Devery Henderson in a crowd of players near the UK 19. The ball bounces off two defenders and onto Henderson’s right hand as he heads to glory. “All I remember was bobbling the ball and pulling it in,” Henderson said, “then running like hell.”
  • Oct. 13, 2007 – Kentucky 43, LSU 37 (3 OTs): LSU takes its No. 1 ranking to Lexington and comes up short in triple overtime against the No. 17-ranked Wildcats. LSU leads 27-14 late in the third quarter, but UK rallies to force overtime tied 27-27. After a 7-yard TD pass from Andre Woodson to Steve Johnson in the third extra period, On the ensuing drive, LSU running back Charles Scott is stopped a yard short on fourth-and-2 at the UK 15.

Pick 6: Q and A with an opposing beat reporter

We were able to secure the precious time of the coolest guy in Lexington, a one Brett Dawson, for this week’s Pick 6.

Brett works for Cats Illustrated, the Rivals.com site, and covers Kentucky like a blanket would on Ross during those chilly October Lexington nights.

Kentucky, where Derby Day - and its outfits - rule like no other.

Kentucky, where Derby Day – and its outfits – rule like no other.

Follow Brett at @BDawsonRivals and read his work here. 

1. Kentucky won two games last season, and the Wildcats already have five wins in their first six games in 2014. What’s behind the turnaround?

First and foremost, talent. There are some veteran playmakers Mark Stoops inherited – quarterback Patrick Towles, for example, and defensive end Bud Dupree – but many of the players making the biggest impact are first- and second-year players recruited by Stoops.

Take running back, where Kentucky is deeper and more talented than it has been in years. Junior Braylon Heard (a Nebraska transfer), sophomore Jojo Kemp and freshman Stanley “Boom” Williams all are Stoops recruits. So are wide receivers Javess Blue and Ryan Timmons, defensive end Za’Darius Smith and safety A.J. Stamps (perhaps UK’s best player).

Beyond that, there’s been a considerable change in attitude. The schedule is backloaded, and Kentucky built some confidence with easy wins early and a strong performance at Florida.

2. How would you describe Kentucky’s offensive philosophy and scheme?

It’s one of many variations of the “Air Raid,” which Hal Mumme introduced to the SEC at Kentucky in the late 1990s. There are spread principles, but UK is fairly balanced and titled slightly more toward the run (105 passes, 119 runs).

Kentucky also can do some damage out of a wildcat formation, primarily with Kemp taking the direct snap (Heard has done it once, and scored a 38-yard touchdown). Kemp’s only pass this season was intercepted, but the Wildcats burned South Carolina with a trick play out of the formation that resulted in a 48-yard touchdown pass from Towles to Timmons.

3. Kentucky allows 342 yards a game. That ranks 32nd nationally. How hands-on is head coach Mark Stoops (a former highly touted defensive coordinator) in the defense?

Extremely. D.J. Eliot is in just his second season as a defensive coordinator, and Stoops largely runs the show. In all of Stoops’ stops as a position coach and coordinator, he’s overseen significant improvement in Year 2, and the same thing is underway at Kentucky.

The secondary – he’s particularly involved with the safeties – has improved dramatically. Kentucky has intercepted 11 passes this season after picking off three in 12 games a year ago.

4. When’s the last time there has been more excitement around Kentucky football and does it dare equal the annual preseason interest in the Cats’ legendary hoops program?

It’s been at least since 2007, the last time Kentucky got off to a start this fast. That season, of course, included a win over No. 1 and eventual BCS champion LSU. But UK’s ticket sales have been relatively tepid. The capacity at Commonwealth Stadium this season during a renovation is 62,093 and UK has sold out only once, against South Carolina.

So Stoops isn’t exactly overshadowing John Calipari yet. But there seems to be more buzz for this week’s trip to LSU than for Friday night’s Big Blue Madness, in part because Stoops’ team is playing so well and in part because Calipari’s already has had six exhibition games and a practice televised this offseason.

5. LSU is an old-fashioned team that uses a fullback and the I-formation quite often to run right at opponents. Is Kentucky’s defense equipped to handle this power game and how do you believe UK will perform?

Not particularly well. If there’s a consistent knock on Kentucky’s defense – including by Stoops and Eliot – it’s the lack of physical play by the linebackers, and that could be a significant factor against LSU’s power running game.

Steve Spurrier caught some heat from South Carolina fans for going away from a power running game and balancing out the offense when it appeared Kentucky could not stop the run.

6. What’s the one thing Kentucky must do well to win this game?

Slow the run. That’s not the only thing – limiting turnovers and creating some big plays also are essential – but if Kentucky can’t keep LSU from marching down the field on the ground, it has precious little chance of springing an upset.

The Wildcats are much better than a year ago, but they still have many of the same core pieces from back-to-back 2-10 teams, and the middle of the defense still is a work in progress. If LSU is able to control the line of scrimmage and run down Kentucky’s throat, the offense may not get the chances it needs to make the sort of big plays that can keep the game close.

Times of Interest: LSU vs. Kentucky

AX119_34E8_9
8:30 a.m.                               LSU SportShop opens
Noon                                     Ticket office opens
1:30 p.m.                              Tiger One Village opens (front of PMAC)
2 p.m.                                    David St. Romain performs in Tiger One Village
3:30 p.m.                              Club level and Suites open at Tiger Stadium
3:45 p.m.                              LSU Student gates open at Tiger Stadium
4 p.m.                                   All remaining gates open at Tiger Stadium
4:25 p.m.                              LSU walks down “Victory Hill”
4:35 p.m.                              Mike VI comes down Victory Hill
4:40 p.m.                              Band comes down Victory Hill
6:04 p.m.                              Mike the Tiger and LSU Cheerleaders field parade
6:20 p.m.                              Captain Presentation – Fred Miller, Richard Granier 
6:22:30 p.m.                         Golden Band from Tigerland takes the field for pregame
6:27 p.m.                              Alma Mater and National Anthem
6:33:30 p.m.                         LSU intro video
6:35 p.m.                              LSU takes the field
6:36 p.m.                              Kentucky takes the field
6:36 p.m.                              Coin toss at midfield
6:39 p.m.                              Kickoff: LSU vs. Kentucky on SEC Network

LSU bowl projections: Week 7

LSU’s dramatic 30-27 victory last Saturday at Florida brought the 5-2 Tigers within a game of bowl eligibility for the 15th straight season and had at least a moderate impact on LSU’s bowl projections.

Four of 11 national predictions have LSU in the Taxslayer Bowl (formerly the Gator), Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida. Three more have the Tigers headed to the Belk Bowl on Dec. 30 in Charlotte, North Carolina, with two picks for LSU in the Music City Bowl (Dec. 30 in Nashville, Tennessee) and one each for the Texas and Liberty bowls (Dec. 29 in Houston and Memphis, Tennessee, respectively).

Bowl bids will be extended Sunday, Dec. 7, following the slotting of teams in the CFP semifinals (Sugar and Rose) and the remaining four CFP bowls (Orange, Cotton, Peach and Fiesta).

Remember this year the SEC will decide where its teams will go bowling after any SEC teams are picked for the six CFP bowls and after the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl makes its choice. That includes all the bowls for which LSU is currently predicted to participate in.

The first CFP rankings will be released Oct. 28.

BOWL PROJECTIONS

  • Jeff Barlis (Florida and SEC blogger) and David Hale (ACC blogger): Music City Bowl vs. Louisville
  • Bill Bender, The Sporting News: MusicCity Bowl vs. Minnesota
  • CollegeFootballMadness.com: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Rutgers
  • CollegeFootballNews.com: Belk Bowl vs. N.C.State
  • Brad Crawford, SaturdayDownSouth.com: Texas Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Jason Kirk, SBNation.com: Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Brett McMurphy, ESPN.com: Belk Bowl vs. Virginia Tech
  • Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com: Texas Bowl vs. OklahomaState
  • Brant Parsons, Orlando Sentinel: Belk Bowl vs. Duke
  • Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Minnesota
  • Phil Steele, PhilSteele.com: TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Michigan

THE ADVOCATE’S PICK

If LSU gets to 8-4 or 7-5, the Tigers still look like a likely choice for the Taxslayer Bowl, where LSU hasn’t played since the 1987 season.

BOWL GUIDE

  • Liberty Bowl: Dec. 29, Memphis
  • Texas Bowl: Dec. 29, Houston
  • Belk Bowl, Dec. 30, Charlotte
  • MusicCity Bowl, Dec. 30, Nashville
  • TaxSlayer Bowl: Jan. 2, Jacksonville

 

Wednesdays With Les: Jennings and Fournette to start, the commish, UK QB

IMG_2013

LSU coach Les Miles, on Wednesdays during game weeks, speaks publicly three different times. Follow his comments here throughout the day.

Radio show

Freshman linebacker Clifton Garrett has been injured recently and is expected to play more late this season, Miles said.

Garrett, a five-start linebacker from Illinois who has played in two games (Louisiana-Monroe and New Mexico State), is not scheduled for a redshirt, the coach said.

“Might have an opportunity some playing in the back end of the season,” Miles said of Garrett.

  • LSU coaches have “given thought” to removing RB Leonard Fournette from the kickoff return team. Fournette ranks 53rd nationally averaging 23 yards a return, but he’s moved into position as LSU’s starting running. Miles said coaches aren’t ready yet to pull Fournette from the kickoff return team because of the “big-play potential” he provides. Fournette’s longest return is 40 yards.
  • Miles said safety Corey Thompson, who has not played this season, is continuing to recover from a knee injury, but he could see playing time at some point this season. Thompson tore his ACL and had surgery late last year. “We think eventually he’ll get there. Knee is coming back. Taking more reps in practice,” Miles said.
  • Miles admits that LSU sometimes allows the grass to grow taller than normal ahead of a game to give the Tigers an advantage over an opponent, but usually the team likes the grass cut low to utilize its speed against the opponent.

Post-practice

LSU will start Anthony Jennings at quarterback and Leonard Fournette at running back against Kentucky, coach Les Miles confirmed in his post-practice

Jennings was expected to get the starting nod after true freshman Brandon Harris’ struggles at Auburn two weeks ago. Jennings started and took every snap in LSU’s 30-27 win at Florida last week.

Fournette ran for a career-high 140 yards on 27 carries in the win over the Gators.

“I think Leonard continues to improve and recognizes what he’s supposed to do,” Miles said. “Certainly he deserves a quality piece of playing time.”

  • Miles praised Mike Slive, but disagreed with at least one thing the commissioner didn’t do: “Only question I have is why he couldn’t have addressed the permanent opponent.” Miles then went on a rant about the permanent opponent (LSU’s is Florida) and how every SEC team should have two rotating opponents that way each team could play all 13 teams in a four-year span. This is old news that can be found here. 
  • Travonte Valentine, a four-star freshman DT from Miami, is getting closer to attaining eligibility through the Southeastern Conference, it appears. Miles said an “exchange of information” had taken place with the Southeastern Conference. “There was some administrative mail that took place today back and forth,” Miles said. “I don’t know how definitive.” Valentine has been cleared by the NCAA but not the SEC.
  • DT Quentin Thomas played just “three to five” plays against Florida, Miles said, and then was pulled.  ”There was some productivity issue,” the coach said. “He’s much better now.” Miles said Thomas practiced all week, as did FB Connor Neighbors.

SEC teleconference

Coach Les Miles praised SEC commissioner Mike Slive in his opening statements on the SEC teleconference on Wednesday, calling Slive’s leadership and direction “monumental.”

The league announced Tuesday that Slive will retire in July.

“His 13 years, much has been accomplished,” Miles said. “The positioning of this conference, a national strength that the conference has pushed into the national landscape has really been through his direction.

“Grown revenue, positioned ourselves for national games and bowl games, has led the Big Five self-autonomy to becoming reality. We’ve enjoyed … his direction and leadership.”

“I think it’s wonderful for him. We’ll miss him.”

  • Miles was asked twice about maintaining an elite offensive line every year and how difficult that is. At least three times, the coach mentioned that it’s made more difficult by players – like RG  Trai Turner last year – leaving early for the NFL draft (or just leaving period): “The greatest problem in developing a line is they don’t stay four or five years.” It’s good to keep in mind that LSU has played three players at right guard this season in search for a replacement for Turner.
  • Miles called Kentucky QB Patrick Towles a “very fine field general, gets them in the right plays, accurate guy, very capable QB.”
  • Kentucky enters 5-1 and 2-1 in the SEC, having beaten South Carolina at home and taken Kentucky to triple overtime. Said Miles: “We recognize it’s going to be a very competitive game, capable game. We encourage friends and fans to make a lot of noise.”

LSU in the NFL: Week 6

Here’s the complete list of LSU players on active NFL rosters for Week 6:

Name, Years at LSU, Team, Position, Week 6 status/stats, Season

Joe Barksdale, 2007-10, St. Louis Rams, OT, Season: started all games

Lamin Barrow, 2009-13, Denver Broncos, LB, W6: no stats, Season: 4 tackles

Odell Beckham Jr., 2011-13, New York Giants, WR, W6: 2 rec., 28 yds., Season: 6 rec., 72 yds., 1 TD

Alfred Blue, 2010-13, Houston Texans, RB, W6: 3 carries, 22 yds., Season: 41-155 rushing, 3-26 receiving, blocked punt (TD), 1 FR, 1 tackle

Dwayne Bowe, 2003-06, Kansas City Chiefs, WR, W6: bye, Season: 14-195

Michael Brockers, 2009-11, St. Louis Rams, DT, W6: 2 tackles, Season: 6 tackles, 1 QBH, 1 FR

Ron Brooks, 2007-11, Buffalo Bills, CB, W6: No stats, Season: 6 tackles

Morris Claiborne, 2009-11, Dallas Cowboys, CB, Placed on Injured Reserve, Season: 7 tackles, 1 INT, 1 QBH, 2 PBU

Ryan Clark, 1997-2001, Washington Redskins, FS, W6: 7 tackles, Season: 37 tackles, 0.5 Sack, 1 PBU

Glenn Dorsey, 2004-07, San Francisco 49ers, DT, Injured Reserve/Designated to Return list

Lavar Edwards, 2008-12, Dallas Cowboys, DE, W6: inactive, Season: no stats

Ego Ferguson, 2010-13, Chicago Bears, DT, W6: no stats, Season: 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 2 PBU

Matt Flynn, 2003-07, Green Bay Packers, QB, W6: did not play, Season: 3-5, 22 yds. passing, 1 INT, 1-(-1) rushing

Jeremy Hill, 2012-13, Cincinnati Bengals, RB, W6: 8-22 1 TD rushing, 4-13 receiving, Season: 36-155 3 TDs rushing, 9-83 receiving

Tyson Jackson, 2004-08, Atlanta Falcons, DE, W6: 4 tackles, 1 TFL, Season: 12 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU

Ricky Jean-Francois, 2005-08, Indianapolis Colts, DT, W6: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 PBU, Season: 12 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 QBH, 3 PBU, 1 FR

Anthony Johnson, 2011-13, Miami Dolphins, DT, W6: no stats, Season: 1 tackle, 1 QBH, 1 FR

Donnie Jones, 2000-03, Philadelphia Eagles, P, W6: 6 punts, 45.5 avg., Season: 24-44.0 average

Brandon LaFell, 2005-09, New England Patriots, WR, W6: 4-97 2 TDs receiving, Season: 15-282, 3 TDs

Jarvis Landry, 2011-13, Miami Dolphins, WR, W6: 6-75 1 TD receiving, 2 KR, 91 yds, 1 tackle, Season: 18-186 1 TD receiving, 2 tackles, 14 KR, 378 yards

LaRon Landry, 2003-06, Indianapolis Colts, S, W5-8: suspended, Season: 23 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 QBH

Bennie Logan, 2009-12, Philadelphia Eagles, DT, W6: 2 tackles, Season: 24 tackles, 2 TFL

Craig Loston, 2009-13, Jacksonville Jaguars, S, W6: no stats, Season: 1 tackle

Tyrann Mathieu, 2010-11, Arizona Cardinals, DB, W6: 4 tackles, 1 QBH, 1 PBU, 1 FR, Season: 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 PBU, 1 FR

Danny McCray, 2006-09, Chicago Bears, S, W6: no stats, Season: 17 tackles, 1 FR

Zach Mettenberger, 2011-13, Tennessee Titans, QB, W6: did not play, Season: 2-5 17 yds 1 INT

Barkevious Mingo, 2010-12, Cleveland Browns, LB, W6: 1 tackle, Season: 12 tackles

Kevin Minter, 2009-12, Arizona Cardinals, LB, W6: no stats, Season: 13 tackles, 1 TFL

Sam Montgomery, 2009-12, Cincinnati Bengals, LB, W6: practice squad, Season: practice squad

Patrick Peterson, 2008-10, Arizona Cardinals, CB/RS, W6: 3 tackles, Season: 14 tackles, 1 PBU

Rueben Randle, 2009-11, New York Giants, WR, W6: 5-58 1 TD receiving, Season: 28-247 3 TDs receiving

Eric Reid, 2010-12, San Francisco 49ers, S, W6: 3 tackles, 1 PBU, Season: 16 tackles, 1 PD, 1 INT

Stevan Ridley, 2007-10, New England Patriots, RB, W6: 10-23 rushing, 1-6 receiving, Season: 94 rush, 340 yds. 2 TD; 4 rec., 20 yds. (injured, out for remainder of season)

Perry Riley Jr., 2006-09, Washington Redskins, LB, W6: no stats, Season: 30 tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 1 TFL

Russell Shepard, 2009-12, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR, W6: 2 tackles, Season: 2-30 yards, 6 tackles

Kelvin Sheppard, 2006-10, Miami Dolphins, LB, W6: 1 tackle, Season: 4 tackles

Tharold Simon, 2010-12, Seattle Seahawks, CB, Season: inactive

Trai Turner, 2011-13, Carolina Panthers, OG, Season: started all games

Andrew Whitworth, 2002-05, Cincinnati Bengals, OG, Season: started all games

Kyle Williams, 2002-05, Buffalo Bills, DT, W6: 1 tackle, 1 QBH, Season: 11 tackles, 1 Sack, 3 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PSU, 3 QBH

Brad Wing, 2010-12, Pittsburgh Steelers, P, W6: 7-46.0 avg., Season: 29-44.1 avg.

Al Woods, 2006-09, Tennessee Titans, DT, W6: 1 tackle, Season: 10 tackles

James Wright, 2010-13, Cincinnati Bengals, WR, W6: 1-24, Season: 1-24 receiving, 1 tackle

Twitter Mailbag: Playing time for Harris, lack of a pass rush and the SEC West race

Jermauria Rasco has played the best of anyone on LSU's D-line, but the Tigers are still struggling in getting pressure. (Bill Feig)

Jermauria Rasco has played the best of anyone on LSU’s D-line, but the Tigers are still struggling in getting pressure. (Bill Feig)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

I’m leaning toward no. Les Miles said two interesting things over the last few days to lead me to believe this.

1) After the Florida game, he basically said that if Anthony Jennings continues to improve (and the team keeps winning), it’ll be tougher to rotate in Harris. His exact quote is below, referring to Harris:

“I think we know what we have there is a great future, guy who has the talent and ability. Maybe we’ll play him a lot in the next game. We just don’t know. It kind of depends on how things mature at the position. If Anthony Jennings continues to get better and better, certainly the transition there would be much different.”

2) On Monday, Miles said, basically, that Harris didn’t get into the game against Florida because it was too close of a game. How crazy is that? One week, Miles starts Harris, a true freshman, on the road against the SEC champions. The next week, Miles doesn’t insert Harris because a game is too close. I believe the LSU-Kentucky will be close, at least long enough into the fourth quarter that we’re not likely to see Harris.

On top of all of this is how Harris performed at Auburn: poorly. And he readily admitted it. He was 3 for 14 for 58 yards.

If I had to put them in order, from most winnable to least winnable, here it goes: Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Alabama.

That sounds crazy, especially with Ole Miss currently holding the No. 3 ranking in the AP poll, but that game is at home and LSU fans get rowdy when the Rebels come to town. If the Tigers can take care of Kentucky, they’ll be roaring into that game at 6-2 and full of life.

Meanwhile, A&M is on the road on Thanksgiving night. And, of course, Alabama is Alabama. This year, though, the Crimson Tide isn’t the team we’ve seen the last few years. Bama is down a bit.

This isn’t taking a big leap or going out on a limb, but I do believe LSU can win all three and lose all three.

Seems like I get this question each week. You’ll start seeing the tight ends when they can catch the ball and don’t fumble. LSU threw to the tight ends twice against Wisconsin. One dropped a pass and the other fumbled.

We’ve rarely seen them in the game plan since. Colin Jeter got a pass thrown his way against Auburn, and he dropped it.

Great question. Over the last two games, we charted LSU’s defense for one – one – pressure. That’s stunningly low. The Tigers are tied for ninth in the SEC with just 11 sacks, and they’ve played all of their cupcakes already.

But, now, to answer your question: Why? That’s a toughie. Jermauria Rasco has seemed to play the best of any defensive lineman this season, but he appears to be playing somewhat injured. I don’t know that for sure, and no coach or player will admit it, but that’s how I feel from rewatching games.

Everyone else has been playing … meh. We all know about the depth issues at the defensive tackle spot. That’s not helping. When you’re not fresh, you’re not gonna get a great pass rush. LSU normally likes to rotate about six defensive tackles into a game. They’ve been rotating about three.

Think about it, offensive linemen don’t rotate in and out of games. It’s normally the same five throughout the game. On the defensive line, however, there is a rotation. That’s where D-linemen take advantage late in games, going against exhausted O-linemen. LSU’s DTs don’t have that luxury.

I don’t know why it has seemed disappointing because he hasn’t played terrible. Did he have a big bust in the game against Florida (Demarcus Robinson’s 73-yard reception)? Yes, he did. But he’s mostly been right on his men in LSU’s man-to-man coverage against good teams.

Take, for instance, Auburn. He guarded Sammie Coates well. He was physical with him, close by his side at nearly all times, but he didn’t make that one big play when the ball arrives. That’s been a theme with this secondary so far this year: They have good coverage but don’t turn around to disrupt the ball. Let’s see if that changes as the year goes on.

We’re probably not getting the whole story. And you know what? We probably never will know. I don’t know the whole story, but I do know what Travonte Valentine told me in August – that another SEC school is meddling into his case. Is that true? I don’t know. That’s just what he said.

Either way, coach Les Miles said last week that Valentine’s case is moving along and that the SEC – holding up the case – received new documents from Valentine’s high school. Keep in mind that Valentine transferred schools after his junior season. That often raises red flags. That said, the NCAA cleared him.

It’s probably time to cross “SEC West champs” off of you goal list for the Tigers. LSU already has two conference losses with five games to go, and the Tigers have lost to the wrong teams (Auburn and Mississippi State).

There’s a good chance that Auburn and State finish at the top of the SEC West standings, and LSU would lose the head-to-head tie-breaker with either. The Tigers’ best shot is to run the table (a three-loss team winning the division seems nearly impossible) and have everyone beat up on everyone else down the stretch, leading to multiple teams having 6-2 SEC records.

He tended to do that often during the first few games, but Jennings played his best game of the season against Florida. He, at least a few times, appeared to make multiple reads. The play below is a perfect example, and it’s a play he might not have made just a few weeks ago. He wants to throw short to FB Melvin Jones or run, but he holds on to the ball and fires a dart to Trey Quinn.

Now, Jennings hasn’t done this a lot, but he did do it at least two to three times against Florida. Also, it’s pretty clear OC Cam Cameron is creating easier throws for Jennings. He rolled out at least four or five times against Florida and threw to Jones four times.

Hmm. If LSU is gonna start using Leonard Fournette as its featured and starting running back, I’d give it some thought.

Wouldn’t you want Fournette completely fresh for that first down? Yes. And he hasn’t been real electric as the kick returner. I do believe that Fournette is better used as LSU’s lead running back. The Tigers have a handful of fast guys – Malachi Dupre, Travin Dural, Trey Quinn, Jamal Adams, Terrence Magee – who could serve as a kick returner.

LSU football schedule for 2015 announced by SEC

After playing Texas A&M in College Station on Thanksgiving night this year, the LSU football team will meet the Aggies on a Friday or Saturday in Tiger Stadium to wrap up the 2015 regular season.

The Southeastern Conference released dates and sites for 2015 for all 14 league schools Tuesday night, a slate that has LSU facing Texas A&M on Saturday, Nov. 28.

LSU associate athletic director Verge Ausberry, however, said that date could change to Nov. 27 if CBS decides to pick up the game for its Friday-after-Thanksgiving afternoon slot.

The Tigers will also play Auburn (Sept. 19), Florida (Oct. 17) and Arkansas Nov. 14) at home and travel to Mississippi State (Sept. 12), South Carolina (Oct. 10), Alabama (Nov. 7) and Ole Miss (Nov. 21) to complete the eight-game SEC schedule.

The home portion of the Tigers’ non-conference schedule includes games against McNeeseState on Sept. 5 (the season opener), Eastern Michigan on Oct. 3 and Western Kentucky on Oct. 24.

LSU will travel to Syracuse on Sept. 26.

The SEC released schedules for the next 11 seasons in May, but the league had not announced dates for those games.

SEC teams are mandated to play at least one opponent from a power conference each season. LSU meets Syracuse next season and hosts the Orange in 2017. The Tigers travel to play Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay in 2016.

LSU continues to search for a power five conference team for 2018-2020. The program is discussing neutral-site games as well as home-and-home matchups with other power conference teams, said Ausberry, who, with athletic director Joe Alleva, handles football scheduling.

2015 LSU football schedule

(Times and TV networks to be announced)

Date Opponent  Stadium    City

Sept. 5        McNeese State    Tiger Stadium     Baton Rouge

Sept. 12      Mississippi St.*        Davis Wade Stadium    Starkville, Miss.

Sept. 19      Auburn*     Tiger Stadium     Baton Rouge

Sept. 26      Syracuse     Carrier Dome      Syracuse, N.Y.

Oct. 3         Eastern Michigan         Tiger Stadium     Baton Rouge

Oct. 10       S. Carolina*  Williams-Brice Stadium        Columbia, S.C.

Oct. 17       Florida*     Tiger Stadium     Baton Rouge

Oct. 24       Western Kentucky        Tiger Stadium     Baton Rouge

Oct. 31       Open date

Nov. 7        Alabama*   Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Nov. 14      Arkansas*  Tiger Stadium     Baton Rouge

Nov. 21      Ole Miss*  Vaught-Hemingway Stadium         Oxford, Miss.

Nov. 28      Texas A&M*       Tiger Stadium     Baton   Rouge

* indicates Southeastern Conference game